„Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel" wooden church, Cemetery Crucifix, Bezded, Sălaj County

Unknownmiddle 18th century - 1991

Complexul National Muzeal ASTRA

Complexul National Muzeal ASTRA
Sibiu, Romania

This church dates from mid 18th century and illustrates the technical procedures applied to wooden monumental constructions. The construction method consists of joining horizontal carved beams in square locks at their ends which stick out and give the impression of stairs in a beautiful esthetic assemble. The Bezded church shows also the technique behind the wooden cylindrical arches and the sustaining skeleton of the high steeples, a characteristic of all wooden Transylvanian churches that are a symbol of traditional architecture.
The layout of the church includes the nave, narthex and altar, a veranda along the long side of the church (similar to a traditional Romanian house, just like the roof, construction materials and building techniques). We can affirm that the church architecture is so tightly related to a traditional Romanian house that one can trace the convergence point of the two developing lines: the house-church that includes common elements and demonstrates the evolution of the religious edifice from the traditional house.
The artistic value of this monument lies in the balance and proportions of volumes, dimension and beam layout, their joints and the stair-like cutting of their edges.
Similar to the houses, the sculptural ornaments are made on the poles of the veranda and arches fastened by wooden nails, with flowery ends and there are also rosettes in rhombuses, broken lines and wolf teeth.
The interior paintings respect the traditional iconographic style of Transylvanian wooden churches: flowery outlines delimit Biblical and lay scenes made with harmonious colors and cover all the walls and interior arches. We mention „Judas' s kiss” and „when they took Jesus Christ to Anna” in the South of the nave and „entering Jerusalem” to the North. Inside the narthex there is the lay scene of "the soldier and the death" on the Southern wall that presents the old way that Austrio-Hungarian soldiers would catch young men with a lasso to send them to the army. Also here there is the scene of the ten Virgins outlined by numerous flowery motifs.
The first priest of this church was Alexandru Ioan Pop, Alexandru Papiu Ilarian's father, which makes this monument even more historically important.


  • Title: „Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel" wooden church, Cemetery Crucifix, Bezded, Sălaj County
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: middle 18th century - 1991
  • Physical Dimensions: w7.3 x h17.3 x d11 m
  • Provenance: ASTRA Museum
  • Type: Reconstruction
  • External Link: ASTRA Museum

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